Millennial Cities Ranking 2018


Digitally native, entrepreneurial and well-travelled, millennials are not afraid to relocate halfway across the world for the right opportunities and experiences. At Nestpick, we help those of all ages find accommodation around the globe, so we’ve witnessed first-hand a clear pattern in the way that young professionals flock to some of the most dynamic urban districts. We’ve created the Millennial City Ranking for the second year running, not only to pinpoint those cities which are successfully attracting this demographic, and therefore the upcoming decade’s core workforce, but to highlight those up-and-coming locations which pique millennial interests.

For this year’s ranking, we’ve delved deeper into what millennials truly care about. For instance, although they often garner negative press for their perceived sense of entitlement and apathy, most millennials actually care more about housing and human rights than partying. Building on our previous study with these interests in mind, we analysed 110 cities, taking four main concerns into consideration: Is there work available? Can you afford to live a good life? Is the city open and tolerant? And finally, can you have fun?

Within these larger categories, we looked into micro factors such as internet speed; especially important to those millennials working remotely, gender equality; a top priority for young people, and the startup ecosystem; attracting those hungry for quick progression and exciting opportunities. We then ranked all of these factors and more to determine the best cities for millennials in 2018.

“Millennials grew up in a shrinking world, where the internet opened doors their parents never could have dreamed of, and budget airlines made those avenues real possibilities. It’s now possible to live and work anywhere in the world, and these opportunities are shaping how our planet will look to future generations.” says Ömer Kücükdere, Managing Director of Nestpick. “We must learn to adapt to the needs of younger people in order to have a thriving economy, and we believe that this ranking offers valuable insights to those cities looking for regeneration from a younger demographic.”

Checkout some of the top cities for millennials that you can find on Nestpick. Whether you’re looking for Berlin apartments or to rent a flats in London , we’ve got you covered. Barcelona apartments for rent are a good option if you’re looking for sunny beaches, and of course, New York City (NYC) short term rentals are a good idea for young professionals in the Big Apple.

Rank Location Business Ecosystem The Essentials Openness Recreation Total
Rank City Country Total


In 2017, we studied thousands of cities focusing on capitals, economic and ex-pat hubs to determine the top 100 millennial dream destinations. Following feedback about the importance of education to this generation, we added 10 more locations to better cover major university cities. From looking deeper into what millennials care about, we also adjusted the weightings of each category to reflect this, for instance Essentials (housing, internet, university etc) accounts for a higher percentage than Recreation (nightlife, beer price etc.)

Scoring: In order to standardize our results and create a comprehensive score, all of the different factors have been evenly ranked between 0 and 10. A score of 10 indicates the highest possible score, while 0 is the lowest possible. This score is obtained directly from the raw data and implementing a normalization of the form:

Score(i) = 10 . ( ( (x(i) - x(min) ) / ( (x(max) - x(min) ) )

Business Ecosystem 25%

A thriving business ecosystem supports a growing millennial community. One of the characteristics of the age group is that in tends to gravitate towards cities with higher start-up funding.

Employment Score - The employment score was calculated based on unemployment data provided by the OECD, Eurostat and US Bureau of Labor. A high employment score reflects low unemployment.

Startup Score - The startup score is based on the number of startups in the city, according to the CrunchBase startup database. In order to emphasize more successful startup environments, startups that have raised at least €100,000 in funding since 2016 contributed more to the final score than startups with less funding.

Tourism Score - The tourism ranking was calculated based on tourist visitor data from Eurostat, UNWTO and Euromonitor. 85% of the score is based on the total number of tourists, and 15% on tourists per capita.

The Essentials 30%

Housing Score: The housing score was calculated from the median price of a 39m2 furnished apartment, based on rental listings data collected for the 'Nestpick Furnished Apartment Rent Index'.

Food Score: The food score was calculated from the monthly cost of food, assuming that two meals per week are eaten at low cost restaurants or food stalls. The data was collected from multiple crowd-sourcing projects that track cost-of-living expenses, primarily Numbeo and Expatistan.

Transport Score: The transport score factored in the length of the metro, tram and bus rapid transit network. It also considered the availability of Uber, and the existence of a bike-sharing scheme.

Health Score: The health score was calculated from the average expected age at birth, as published by WHO.

Internet Speed Score: The internet score was calculated from the average broadband download speeds, as published on a country-wide basis by the Akamai State of the Internet Report. Crowd-sourcing data from Nomadlist was used to fine-tune estimates on a city-by-city basis.

University Score: The university score was calculated from the city university ranking as published by Quacquarelli Symonds (‘QS’)

Access to Contraception Score: The access to contraception score was based on Model-Based Estimates and Projections Of Family Planning Indicators 2016 produced by the UN.

Openness 25%

Gender Equality Score: The gender equality score was calculated from The Global Gender Gap Report 2017 by the World Economic Forum.

Immigration Tolerance: The immigration tolerance score was calculated from the 2017 Social Progress Index conducted by The Social Progress Imperative.

Personal Freedom and Choice: The personal freedom and Choice score was calculated from the 2017 Social Progress Index conducted by The Social Progress Imperative.

LGBT Friendly Score: The LGBT friendly score was calculated based on LGBT Openness in the city, Safety and Legal Rights, as well as attraction to gay travellers. The data was originally collected for the 'Best LGBT Cities 2017' , as well as Spartacus' Gay Travel Index, 2017.

Recreation 20%

Nightlife Score: The nightlife score considers the opening times of clubs, with the longest and most relaxed opening times equating to the highest score.

Beer Ranking: The beer ranking was calculated from the cost of 500ml domestic beer in a bar in each city. The data was collected from multiple crowd-sourcing projects that track cost-of-living expenses, primarily Numbeo and Expatistan.

Festival Ranking: The festival ranking was calculated based upon the number of annual music festivals. The data was collected from international event platforms and ticket merchants.